Monthly Archives: January 2007

Go Ahead

Bill will be singing at Madison Square Garden, singing the National Anthem solo before a WNBA basketball game July 20th. Tickets are 10.00 a piece. Very big and fun news indeed. Getting the word out early. It’s about 10:23PM and I just got back from Rand and Lisa aka El Jefe and Lady Gigglepuss’ apartment where Rand had given me a new computer. Not so much new but different. It’s a Dell. Dude, I got a Dell. I know it’s a cliché but I had to say it before anyone else did. That should not stop anyone else from saying it though.

Now I am sitting in front of the TV Bill at my computer trying to access the wireless connection that Bill has and I share. He’s on the phone with Rand and they’re both trying to get me access to the net. In the interim I’m getting this out now so I won’t be up past midnight trying to write the daily entry. Things are supposed to be faster so I’m looking forward to that. Bill is telling me a story about getting Algebra in 9th grade. Actually he’s telling me for the second time tonight the second time in fifteen minutes. It’s a good story but I’d rather he worked on the wireless connection as he tells me the story.

The story is about the production that Bill is acting in next month on February 23 up in Harlem. Apparently the cast is getting it together after several months of rehearsal. Bill told me when they were in the early days of rehearsals he was the only one who was able to read off book. The director was mightily impressed. The name of the show is ‘Reflections of Time’ and it’s a musical. So that’s something to do. Bill’s being productive, isn’t he?

For me, work was ok. I do laugh to myself a lot. Wally can be entertaining from a distance. I wouldn’t say he’s funny though. Most Everyone, meaning 7 people told me that they were glad I was back. It’s nice to be appreciated. It was a not so slow day. Jury duty did break up the work week, but I didn’t read any of I, Claudius which is a bummer.
I am enjoying it, probably because I’ve seen the miniseries and own it on DVD. I do recommend it. I’m such an Oprah sometimes.

I was able to pick up the Village Voice. Couldn’t seem to find it the past two weeks. I did read it online but everyone knows that you read the Voice mainly to read the music ads. At least that’s what I do. Sure I’d read certain columnists, but it’s been the best place to see who will be playing where in the upcoming weeks. That’s how I saw Scritti Politti was playing at Bowery Ballroom. Who knows what I’ve missed? They don’t have those ads online as far as I know. Anyway, I’m tired, still not online. Bill was trying to et me into his network again but he’s tired as well.

Damn that Algebra.

True story: I am terrible at most math. I find my mind running away, thinking of conceptual things like who invented math and numbers? Who stood there, looking at sticks and saying, ‘this will be one, these will be two…’ and why one? why that word? Anyway, I’m in my junior year of high school facing my Algebra final and I knew I couldn’t figure it out. Numbers were hard enough on their own, but when letters were added I freaked out. If Y is 7 and X is 5… Forget it. I wrote an essay on the last page. I wrote to Sister Reginald and explained that I was sorry but I just don’t understand algebra and it’s not her fault she’s a god teacher but if I fail this, I was going to go to summer school where I would definitely fail all over again. Oh and also my parents would kill me. I guess it was a very well written and totally uncalled for essay but it worked. And I don’t think I ever wrote about algebra again for 27 years.

Daily Show very funny, but of course.

Sweet Painted Lady

Today was cold again, but then again it is winter. January is creeping to an end and it shows. Last night just hung out with Bill, not doing much of anything. Watched Heroes, which was totally engrossing and what is even more surprising was Live from Studio 60 was really enjoyable right up to the end where it was to be continued next week. After that was the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and his guest Bill Gates. Very funny and the Colbert Report was great too. A good night for TV, which doesn’t happen too often excepting Thursdays.

Went to sleep in Bills arms last night and that was nice. Once again he was active and headed out the door after kissing me goodbye while I stayed in bed for the longest possible time. Today was certainly an out of the ordinary day for me. I had Jury Duty and got my act together and wore a suit and tie since there was the chance that wouldn’t be picked for a trial and would be released earlier, like what happened years ago. The only stress I had was trying to find my passport in case official identification would be required.

I found it and headed out the door much like I do everyday at around 7:30. I sent a message to Juan in the morning after checking my emails on Bill’s computer before I headed out. I walked through Church Square Park much like I used to when I would go to work at McMann and Tate. Nothing had changed at all and I walked over to the train, saw Plantain Man in the window of Natural Plus across from City Hall but he didn’t see me. Got on the train only this time I was headed to Journal Square, which required a transfer at the Pavonia/Newport Station.

Got to the courthouse which was not so hard to figure out since I had a general idea of where it was, within walking distance from the Path train. I went through the metal detectors, put my bag on a scanning machine and came through with flying colors. No weapons on me. I made it to the 4th floor and signed in and waited, sitting in a pew, which brought back so many memories of discomfort, and going to mass. I settled in and read the rest of last week’s New Yorker, taking pride in the fat that I was caught up. I was there before 8:30 as stated on the paperwork mailed to me last month.

Quite a few people strolled in around 9:30 or even later. No explanations given. We had to watch 2 videos about the Jury system and how it applied to us. The second one featured the Chief Justice of the NJ State Supreme Court telling us about how she had Jury duty back in 1997, noting that even judges have to attend Jury duty just like us. I wisely brought a book with me, ‘I, Claudius’ by Robert Graves. Julio had gotten it for me a few years ago and now I had the opportunity to read it.

It’s a great read, especially if you’ve seen the series on Public Television or have the DVD’s which Bill had gotten me a few years ago as well. My name was called with about 50 other people and we had to leave the modern courthouse built in the 1960’s and dedicated to Nicholas Copernicus for some reason, and trooped over to the older courthouse, built in the early part of the 20th century I think. Cellphones shut off we sat in a very warm and very stuffy courtroom listening to Judge Edward O’Connor tell us about more of the Jury section process.

Names were called for a civil suit, people were questioned and some accepted, some rejected from the jury box. My name wasn’t mentioned and when both parties and the judge were satisfied with the selections we were all told to go back to the modern courthouse. There I sat, reading ‘I, Claudius’. At 11:30 we were told to go to lunch and come back at 1:30. That was ok and I wandered around the area known as Five Corners and had a hamburger in a greasy spoon and read the papers with my juror badge hanging on the outside of my suit jacket.

I communicated with Rand at various points of the day. He fixed my computer and was wondering if I wanted a different model. I said it was up to him if he thought that was best. I do trust Rand implicitly on computer matters. I was very much into reading the book when at around 3:15 they let us go for the day, telling us there was no need to come back the next day, we were free for the next 3 years from Jury Duty.

I caught the train back to Bokeyland, nobody really on the street. Rand was not around, Bill was at work, and not answering his phone. I called up Golden Staffing and told them I would be in tomorrow which may have given them some relief, though I wonder if they think something is up what with me being legitimately sick a few weeks ago, and now with this Jury Duty. It’s all on the up and up so I shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

So now, waiting to hear from Rand, Bill’s home with his new humidifier and I’m at his desk top writing on his Mac on this cold evening in January. All in a days work.

Dreams

Rand lives! Nothing bad happened. He didn’t fall off the face of the earth. He’s alive and well and presently in the custody of my computer, which may or may not be on it’s last legs. Rand has been in the habit of finding computers that have been thrown away and he checks them out for parts which they almost always have. Something salvageable. Wireless cards, mother boards. I just left his apartment and he had about six computers all fixed up and ready to go. One is earmarked for someone RoDa’s baby’s mother’s family. One could be for me if the pc that I have is beyond repair. I carried my computer over to Rand’s and had to make the trip back home since I forgot the Windows XP disc
It was cold out.

Once again this is being written through the courtesy of Bill’s grace. My baby was asleep in the bed when I came home after spending most of the day in the VA hospital with his father. His father is 84 and a veteran and had some major toenails that needed to be hacked off. You can use your imagination or perhaps go rent ‘My Beautiful Launderette’ and see the son clip his father’s toenails. It’s right when Daniel Day Lewis phones for the first time.

I just got off the phone with Rand who has seen the pc come back to life, with Rand pointing out the Hot Hispandex picture on my desktop. I’ll swing by and pick it up after my first day of jury duty. That’s right, JURY DUTY. I’m actually looking forward to it. I had gone once before when I was still living in Weehawken. It was just a quick in and out back then. Didn’t even have enough time to read whatever it was I had brought. This time, I think they’ll keep me a bit longer, which creates a weird vibe at work though I did tell them on my first day that I had jury duty at the end of the month and sent them calendar invites as well.

So perhaps the weird vibe is all in my head. It wouldn’t be the first time. Work is good at Golden Staffing. It was difficult getting out of bed once again this morning and with Bill sleeping at his folks for his father’s sake, it was a big old lonely bed at that. I rallied, showered, shaved, had cereal and didn’t know what else to do since there was no email to check. Well there was but in order to negotiate the keyboards and whatnot, it just wasn’t worth the usual time to sit and check.

If all goes well tomorrow I’ll either be sitting in a courtroom in Jersey City or sitting at my desk on west 44th street. At the end of the day, I can look forward to getting old occasionally faithful back, Big John it is called. Named by Gazi Ali from Wanker Banker. It is a former office computer that wasn’t doing anything so they gave it to me. I was considerably stressed about the state of Big John, stressed enough to look at computers online. Desktops and laptops. Bill has both. Juan and Julio have laptops. One’s a Mac one’s a pc. But Big John is scheduled to be back tomorrow. Cross your fingers.

Rand lives and maybe Big John does too!

Radar Love

This sucks to tell you the truth. Once again, allergies attack. Last week was the inhalation of the word, ‘reformation’. This week, merely a tickle in my right nostril which causes the right eye to water and a most unsightly nasal drip under my nose. It happened in the middle of the night while I was sleeping. It was enough to make me wake up and blow my nose several times filling the garbage can near the bed to fill with used tissues. Bill was oblivious to it, sleeping like a log after transcribing music for quite a few hours.

I woke up and showered and went out for some bagels and the papers after a cup of coffee at the computer checking the email. I ran a spy ware program and headed out to the streets which weren’t as cold as yesterday. Why, it was 27 degrees out. Balmy! There was no line when I walked into the bagel shop so that was nice. I headed out and got the papers. I remembered I needed to get some eggs so it was off to the supermarket. I came back home and checked the computer so it could get rid of the spy stuff and other crap on the computer.

Things were going well. I had downloaded Mozilla Firefox last night with a Google package, and didn’t complete all of the downloads. Everything seemed completed and I followed the prompts towards a restart. That was done and after that all I was left with was a blue screen. Nice cursor and a blue screen. No taskbars at the bottom. No Windows. No Firefox or start button. Totally fucked up. After restarting a few dozen times, still nothing. Ctrl/Alt/Delete didn’t do much of anything either. And of course, the Microsoft help line was off for the weekend.

Bill let me use his computer, his super big and fast Mac which I do love to use. Now I’m on his PowerBook G4 since he’s transcribing again. Juan is expected, home from college for the weekend. I plan on utilizing his computer brain (he is of THAT generation after all) and seeing if he can work some hocus pocus on the computer. I have hope. As a back I did leave a message for Rand earlier asking him for his assistance with the problem. I didn’t hear anything from his corner of the world yet.

Now I’m on the G4, took an allergy antihistamine watching Scrubs. I took one earlier and it knocked me out for an hour. A deep nap followed soon after. That was fun. Still the computer shows nothing but a blue screen and the cursor. I am the curser as well as the cursed, what with the computer being the way that it is and a hemisphere of my skull tearing and dripping. It doesn’t matter, there are worse things in the world than this problem.

I’m looking forward to seeing Juan and picking his brain. He shouldn’t mind.

Do That Stuff

When I woke up this morning it was 9 degrees outside. Inside it was a little warmer. Bill spent the night at his folks so there was his extraordinary body heat that was missing. Made it difficult to get out from under the covers but I rallied. Today in New York kept hammering home how cold it was outside and I paid attention. I showered, towel dried my hair, had some breakfast, checked the email and started dressing in layers. I finally wore my father’s silk long johns after 6 years of avoiding them. Also had on a denim shirt, a long sleeved t-shirt, a mock turtleneck sweater and my work boots.

Once again I was out on the street in the cold. I wore my wool hat and tried stuffing my cumbersome headphones underneath. Made me look stupid, but I had my music, and I was warm. I stood in the bus shelter waiting for the bus listening to Remain in Light by Talking Heads. I think the last time I heard it was around this time last when I bought the remastered CD. I settled into the next to last seat as usual as the bus continued up Washington Street filling up with more and more commuters. Such a young crowd.

I got to work on time, surprised to see Naomi in the office. I didn’t think she was going to make it in and she wasn’t so sure about it herself. But there she was. The rest of the office came in by 9:00 and the workday began in earnest. Wally who is such a fag came in. I think he feels threatened by me. He had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon and I hoped he wouldn’t come back, but he waddled in through the door about three hours later.

He certainly lacks in politeness. No ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ when he doesn’t hear what you said, it’s always, ‘what?’. You hear it often enough throughout the day and he starts to sound like the female half of ‘The A-Holes’ from Saturday Night Live. He lives right around the block from McMann and Tate actually. I guessed exactly where it was when we chatted about his looking for a new apartment. He’s just so disillusioned by how Soho is these days and with his 300k salary, he could find just about any nice apartment somewhere.

Towards the end of the day, after Wally came back from his not long enough doctors’ appointment, he came up to me and asked me a favor. Basically, I was too casual for the office today. He made of point of stating that I dress great though out the week, but today, with my jeans and denim shirt hanging out of my jeans, well it just didn’t cut it, in his opinion. I told him he should have told me that earlier as I was dressed in layers and could have just removed something. Naomi sauntered past in her beat up denim jacket. That was fine, as she is the president. Wally didn’t understand the fact that I was dressed in layers and I tried to make light of it but for someone who people think is funny, doesn’t have much of a sense of humor, or nor any kind of sense it seems. But there’s no beaten down feeling like I had at the end of each week with Wanker Tate.

Now it’s 19 degrees and Parliament Funkadelic are on TV. Life is funky.

Ram On

It’s Thursday and the temperature is dropping fast. Last week I was basically out cold. I threw up and didn’t leave the apartment for fear of not being near the toilet. But that was then and now it’s a week later and I’m 100% better. Not even a smidge of temperature. Kept hearing from former coworkers. From Wanker Banker as well as McMann and Tate. That was nice. Karol, the Polish dude from Wanker Banker found the blog and emailed me about it. Nothing bad was ever written about him. He’s a good guy and plays on my team. I wish him only the best. Also heard from Vincenzo the IT guy who was in the San Francisco office of Wanker Banker. That was nice. I asked him to pass my greetings along to Katja, Jenn and Bonnie, the lovely lasses by the bay.

Heard from Miguel from McMann and Tate. He started a few weeks before I left. Great guy, handsome, has a lovely girlfriend. Chatted with him a lot through gmail today. Told Miguel about the blog and he immediately jumped into it, asking me who was who. I told him to guess. I gave in and explained to him who Felicia actually was. He was on the cusp of figuring it out anyhow. It was good to chat with him though and it was fun to talk about the blog.

I also heard from Amiable Alan who I’m going to hook up with on Wednesday. Just a tete a tete, probably wander around downtown afterwork catching up. That should be fun and of course it depends on the weather. But hook up we shall! I heard from my brother Frank who called me when I had gotten off the bus and buying celery. He too has read the blog and mentioned my mention of seeing Janet Wygal on the bus the other night. He had a suggestion for a conversation topic, of course it was too late and too pointed a topic. Who the hell wants to talk about a DNA cup anyway?

More blasts from the past. Yesterday at work I was playing the Ram album by Paul McCartney. It’s really a good record, but when I hear it, all I can think about is a conversation between two of my neighbors when growing up. Donna Foglio and Terry Savio and I were waiting across the street from my house waiting for the school bus to pick us up. Terry was talking to Donna about hanging out at the Public Library the night before listening to the Ram album. Why do I retain this?

Another thing, at work, a lot of the data entry I’ve been doing is inputting nothing but names, names, names on various resumes. And some of those names are similar to other names from the past. Pete de Bene. He worked the loading dock at the book publisher I used to work at ages ago. He had an affair with Debbie Costa, who was married to some mob type. I used to flirt with Debbie’s brother, Tony. I knew what I was doing, but I don’t think Tony knew. Nothing transpired.

Illegal dress.

She Is Mine

Humpty humpty hump day! Everybody do the humpty dance yeah! I did not win the lottery again. Now it’s up to 43 million dollars I think. I’d settled for a quarter of that and be quite happy with it. I got out of bed with the hope that I won the lottery. I usually do. I’ve settled into work for sure. But with my luck it would be a winning lottery akin to Shirley Jackson and her Lottery. Look it up, go ahead, I’ll wait. Bill was out of the apartment mere moments before I got out of bed.

Shower, coffee, cereal, email all while getting dressed. Such a routine. It works for me at least. I wore an impressive black pinstriped suit that I bought a few years ago back in the Wanker Banker days. I enjoy being able to dress up and go to work. This phenomenon started only after my father passed away. I passed on his suits. Just wasn’t feeling them then. Lot’s of polyester I think and I’m a wool man myself. Still I would have liked to have my parents see me dressed up so nicely in a suit and tie. I didn’t wear one for their funerals. Didn’t see the point, though I was dressed presentably anyhow.

It was cold out for sure but not as cold as it’s been so I went without the hat. Actually Bill’s Triple Five baseball cat that Julio and Stine got for him a few years ago and like most things that Bill gets as presents, he doesn’t use it. Is that what a lot of people do? I guess I’m guilty of that as well. I have some presents from friends, books and cd’s that I haven’t read or played yet and they are getting old as well. Either way I am the one wearing the Triple Five baseball cap. But just not today.

Two people were out at work today, Clara was ill and Syreeta was en route to India for her brother’s wedding. It didn’t make much difference really. Applicants still came in, some humbled, some arrogant. Some at the peak of health and others in recovery from illness and ailments. I help them all, though not equally. The wounded get special help and attention from me, the arrogant ones are given the drill with an air of indifference. It’s a tedious job, boring and monotonous and that’s just how I wanted it.

President Naomi was ruling the roost with Wally being Wally right behind her. He seems to be warming up to me and that’s fine. I don’t need any stress like at the last job. Speaking of the last job, Amiable Alan called but I was unable to talk. I tried calling him later but he was unavailable. I did talk to Andrea who was fired from McMann and Tate in May or so of last year in San Francisco. She moved on and got another job in old San Fran when McMann and Tate offered her the position of office manager in the New York office. I of course, was not considered for the job.

I thought it odd how someone who could get fired so abruptly when they closed the San Francisco office, could believe in that same company when offered to uproot her life and move to New York where she doesn’t have much of a safety net. But that is what she did. Good luck. She was manning the phones since they still had not gotten anyone to replace me. I thought for a split second about actually going back, but I’ve been re-reading the entries from the past year or so and I had to smack myself in the face. Would I go back to McMann and Tate?

No Fucking Way. Though I do miss the salad bar around the block. No way about the job. Too damned depressing. The spot where I’m at now, well…that’s where I’m at.

Ay Papacito

Ok things are getting back to ‘normal’. It’s Tuesday, and I’ve settled into the job. I like my coworkers and I’m developing a tolerance for Wally, who is such a closet case. It was comical to see Wally talking to a co-worker, Syreeta who is flying to India tomorrow. He was trying to be cosmopolitan and was trying to describe Indian movies and dancing but couldn’t figure out what they were called or where they were from. Hey stammered and hemmed and hawed finally Syreeta who was desperate to leave said Bollywood and finally he knew of what he was trying to speak of.

I was doing a lot of data entry and trying to pace myself so that I could get some overtime out of it. It was easy since there are so many pressing things for me to do. Things like making photocopies, answering the phone and having paperwork filled out by people that are generally humble and the occasional arrogant fuckers who come in an expect everything to stop because they have arrived. These are the ones that balk at having to fill out papers, they sign in their names with such a hurried scrawl. When it gets to the part where they are asked to list the last three jobs they try to refuse to.

I take a deep breath and attempt to convince them it would all be for the best since the copy of their resume sometimes gets separated from the application they are filling out. It’s not like they are going to see the counselor anytime soon. There’s a lot of waiting involved. Naomi does send me out on errands occasionally, and this morning she asked me to go to the Fossil store to get a battery and the crystal on her daughter’s watch replaced. I didn’t mind. I do enjoy walking around midtown Manhattan during the day. Lot’s of hustle and bustle and not so much of the cool factor that was knee deep in Soho.

I stayed until 6:45 tonight which meant I missed most of Scrubs which is fine since I’ve been watching it so often that I’ve really seen a lot, sometimes two or three times already. The same thing happened with the Simpsons, saw it a lot of times, reluctant to say way too many and I couldn’t watch it much more. Now in small doses it’s alright though. Like chipping as a habit. Or maybe not. Luke, the IT guy in the office gets along with Wally really well.

The jury is still out on Luke. Towards the end of my day it was just Luke and myself in the office and he told me that I was doing a good job and everyone was happy to have me there. He mentioned that I got a grip on the systems in the office very fast and he was impressed by that fact. It’s really not that hard to figure out.

The way home via the bus I sat across from Janet Wygal who used to play bass for the Individuals. My brother Frank used to think how striking she was and she’s still a looker. She gave me the look that she thought I was Frank and it messed up her wiring somewhat. I wasn’t sure if she was her anyway. We’ve known each other for years, over 20 actually, and we’ve never spoken before so why start now?

Then it was off to the A&P once I got off the bus. As I was checking out I saw someone I had a fling with years ago. Of course he’s straight, just liked to fool around with me once in a while. I heard he lost a leg in a car accident a few years ago but it looked like he had two legs under his track pants. Could have a prosthetic underneath.
Hey just because I have a bass like Paul McCartney’s doesn’t mean I want a play date like the one he’s separating from, his ex-wife.

Outside the Trains Don’t Run On Time

I must stop living in the past. I was reminded and left forlorn, thinking of the first time I ever heard the word ‘ersatz’ said aloud. It was at a fashion show for Alphonso Portillo, a local designer who was having his designs shown at Lady Jane’s, a former bar at 14th and Hudson. One of the dresses Alphonso designed had a flap in the front which prompted Andrew Feldman to point out the ersatz penis. Must have been around 1984 or so. Lady Jane’s is gone, Andrew Feldman married and moved to the West Coast and Alphonso Portillo died a few years later.

I remember dancing to West End Girls by the Pet Shop Boys at an end of tax season party across from Lincoln Center when I worked for Friedman Alpren and Green in 1986. I danced to West End Girls and Kiss by Prince. Oh how I thought I was on top of my game. I worked in the file room at 1700 Broadway, lived in a railroad apartment at 201 Madison Street where I was the only white guy in the neighborhood for a few years. When my parents would send me mail, they’d send it to McSwells since they new I could be found there more often than not.

The guy who ran the file room at 1700 Broadway was Tyree Thomas, a nice guy, affable. He made me and a few other file room employees to promise to get together on New Years Eve in 1999 to celebrate with him. We all pledged but eventually went our separate ways and the plan to get together at the new millennium fell by the wayside. I left Friedman Alpren and Green after a supposed slight and got a job being the assistant manager at San Loco, a fast food Mexican joint on Second Avenue off of St. Marks Place. 1987.

Steve Fallon, a friend of the owners Darrel and Craig Nelson, and also a friend of mine whispered in my ear that it was not that good a choice to be a glorified cashier on Second Avenue. I soon agreed when I noticed that things were getting a bit crazy in the East Village and it was too much for me. I ran into a friend of mine, Errol Stewart who was playing guitar for Fetchin’ Bones who told me he had a good gig working freelance for Rupert Murdoch for $10.00 an hour.

I got myself hired and soon found myself surrounded by people like Harpy, Pedro, Excer, Ann Boyles and Catherine Cloud as well as Ulysses Sankitts and his brother, Tony. We didn’t do much of anything except smoke cigarettes and listen to music and do drugs and get wired while looking at brochures and trying to pick the oh so best picture to be turned into a slide for inclusion into a database which was a little bit ahead of it’s time. The Hotel Database.

That job ended a couple of years later and I’m still friends with Harpy, Pedro and Excer. Ann Boyles went back to Georgia, Catherine Cloud to who knows where, Tony Sankitts passed away and Ulysses still doing nefarious things in Queens Village I think.

Some times memories help, sometimes they weigh you down. Sometimes I walk around and think there are too many memories here. Maybe I should move to somewhere where I have no memories. But where?

And where’s Juan?

Penny Lane

Strange dreams, strange day. Juan came over last night. Today he heads back to college. Bill, Juan and I hung out and watched ‘The Illusionist’ followed by the news and then Saturday Night Live which was pretty funny. It was all good and relatively subdued. Some jazziness informed the evening so that was nice. Juan left around 1:00 and I soon went to bed. While I slept I had a dream where I inhaled a word, and I think it was ‘reformation’ and it went up my nostril. In real time it was then followed by an allergy attack, causing me to scramble, looking for tissues.

That was annoying. And also with all the water and juices I’ve been drinking, I wore out quite a groove on the cold tiled floor from the bedroom to the bathroom and back again. It was odd. Why that word, ‘Reformation’? It could be because while surfing though the Wikipedia seas, I came upon the Wannsee Conference, and one of the participants was a Martin Luther. The Wannssee Conference was when the plans for the final solution were agreed upon. So there’s the link. Martin Luther + Reformation = Allergy attack. It all makes sense now.

Got an email from president Naomi:
Thinking about you and hope you are feeling better today and maybe even well tomorrow. We definitely missed you at the front desk end of week.

Once again, thank you for the effort on Thursday of coming into work, but please rest assured that should you need to call in sick again, please do so…we will take you at your word and will not need to see you as proof.

All the best and hope to see you on Monday.

That was nice and left me feeling ok. I responded,
Hi Naomi,
I am feeling a lot better, sleeping a lot. The past few days saw my temperature all over the place, but it seems to be normal now. I called and left a Voice mail on Friday morning on yr phone, but no one seemed to have gotten it. Wally called and told me next time to leave a voice mail on his phone. Sorry about that. Obviously I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.
I know better now and will stay home if I’m sick.
I fully expect to be in the office tomorrow. Thanks for thinking about me.
I hope you are well.

I was sincere, I think. Fresh start tomorrow. Having just written that I felt better about the whole ting. I was sick and suffering from the guilt that I used to have when I would lie to get away from McMann and Tate by feigning sickness, or as the Brits called it, being ‘unwell’. Pointless.

So I’ve been basically cooped up in this apartment since Thursday morning, excepting small runs to the store for bagels and whatnot. Back into the rat race tomorrow. Perhaps the illness was a final purging of the toxins from the Wolffmen.

Been surfing the iPod in my mind, looking at various top hits of the past, back to 1964 and trying to figure out when and where I heard the first song I ever heard. Interesting for me, tedious for you.

I Could Be Happy

It’s a nothing Saturday. Not doing much of anything. Watching Chappelle Show DVDs. Very funny mostly, and what’s not is just a button away on the remote. It’s bitter cold and windy outside so there’s no need to go out. And since I’m not 100% better yet, it’s a good idea to stay in and do nothing, just rest. Okay, I did laundry too and in that sense it’s just another friggin’ Saturday. Just keepin it real. Catching up on a lot of reading as well but I am also climbing the wall. I’m also not looking forward to work on Monday since my faux pas with the voice mail.

But enough about that. I’ll deal with that if it happens. Let’s shuffle the iPod. I once again tried to download the latest version of iTunes but nothing came of it. It just kept telling me that I need to have QuickTime while I sat there looking at a QuickTime window. After a few times of that I couldn’t be bothered anymore. I still had the older version of iTunes so I will have to make do with that. Ho fucking hum. I can be happy with that. I didn’t lose anything like I had in the past.

And now, the shuffle.

Wholly Holy- Marvin Gaye
Great song from What’s Going On, but oddly enough, or perhaps so oddly enough, I actually prefer Aretha Franklin’s live version on some of her Greatest Hits and also on the Amazing Grace CD. But that’s just me, and this blog is me so there you go.

Why Can’t He Be You- Patsy Cline
A tune from her Greatest Hits. For some reason, most everyone loves Patsy Cline. I first got into her when my parents were away and I rented Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn and Beverly De Angelo as Patsy Cline who helped Loretta out before Patsy’s final plane ride. And there was always a Patsy Cline song on the jukebox at McSwells.

Apocalypso- Mew
Danish rock and roll. Julio and Stine went to see them early last summer. I was invited but declined since at that time I usually went home to lick my wounds after work. Julio burned the cd for me. It’s good. A Danish take on Brit Pop with an early eighties Manchester vibe.

#1 Hit Song- Minutemen
One of the best bands I ever saw at McSwells. Rocking and funky and definitely underground. The records are great but nothing could top the grooves of the live show. We Jam Econo is a great DVD of Minutemen and I highly recommend it.

Caballo Viejo- Ry Cooder and Manuel Galaban
The last of the Buena Vista Social Club cd’s I purchased, featuring a great guitarist as well as Ry Cooder. But it didn’t grab me as much as the previous collections I had purchased. I play rarely, yet more than Don Ruben Gonzalez. I believe Manuel Galaban, Orlando Cachaito Lopez and Eliades Ochoa are the only ones still vertical.

You’ll Lose a Good Thing- Barbara Lynn
From the excellent movie soundtrack for the original movie, Hairspray by John Waters. Really great songs I had never heard before. I once worked at People Magazine and came across his agent’s info so I took upon myself to send a suggestion in about how it might be cheap to put the show on Broadway and have the actors sing the songs from the movie, much like what was being done with Saturday Night Fever. They didn’t listen and now they have a hit show on Broadway, winning Tony awards and soon to star John Travolta in the role originated by Divine on screen and Harvey Fierstein on Broadway.

Fever to Tell

Well it’s certainly been one of the more interesting 24 hours than usual. Of course, things being what they are, it actually started on Wednesday evening. Bill and I watched ‘Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World’ by Albert Brooks. It’s definitely sub par for Albert. Rather weak and insipid. Bill and I ate some Godiva chocolates as we watched and noticed how painful it actually was to watch. We recovered enough as we watched the Daily Show and the Colbert Report and soon after I fell into the arms of Morpheus (or whichever god of sleep you prefer) and slept rather peacefully.

Woke up the next morning with a feeling of ‘oh how I don’t want to go to work’ but it’s a feeling I get most days. I rallied and took a shower, had some coffee and my vitamins as I checked some email. Didn’t have anything to eat since I ran out of cereal. As I sat in front on the computer I felt a need to immediately rush to the bathroom. Took care of what I needed to do and from there things got worse. Oh I was sick. There I was dressed for work crouched over the toilet spewing forth like I hadn’t in years. And I hadn’t in years.

But still I had this ‘work ethic’ and I still made it in. I don’t remember much of the bus ride at all. I had to stop past Bill’s office to pick up something and when he saw me said I looked like hell, or rather flustered. I took note of that and got to my office down the block where I felt worse. I explained my appearance and felt then and there that maybe I should’ve stayed home. I made some coffee then sat at my desk. As I started to read my office emails I just started feeling dizzy.

I told president Naomi that I needed to go home right at that moment. She offered me a car service, but I declined. I walked over to the bus terminal and got on the bus. As the bus started going down Washington Street it picked up more and more passengers headed to the Path train. The exact opposite of how it is going into Manhattan. I thought it was odd, but then again I was ill. I got off the bus and bought some water and some juice and some ginger ale.

Two hours after I left the apartment I was back in the apartment. I hung up the clothes I was wearing and went back to sleep for about 6 hours. Woke up, walked around a bit, running to the bathroom several times. I had a fever of 101.5. Drank lots of water and orange juice, changed t-shirts a number of times and slept deeply. I had the TV on for company since Bill was at his parents. At various times as I walked to the bathroom I saw parts of the musical version of Scrubs and the Tonight Show featuring so really abrasive female comic in a black and white checked dress. Oh my she sounded horrible.

About 24 hours later, I feel a whole lot better. Temperature is normal. My bones are a bit achy. I called up and left a voice mail for president Naomi. She didn’t make it in so she never got the voicemail. I got a phone call from Wally who was wondering how I was doing. Apparently since president Naomi didn’t make it in she didn’t forward my message. It was the latest in a series of odd events in the past 24 hours.

Bombast

It’s Wednesday, hump day. Yes back to that. HUMP day. Juan made it over and he and Bill and I watched two versions of Law and Order. Juan mentioned that he watched an episode alone and we agreed it’s weird to watch it alone, or without Bill in the room. We watched the Daily Show afterwards, then I kicked Juan sweet butt to the curb. Soon after I was asleep dreaming dreams of what I can never remember. Not the apocalyptic dreams thanks to the occasional Jazz cigarette.

It was extraordinarily cold today, 17 degrees. Freezing. Below freezing actually. Bill was finally up and about and headed to work. He was gone before I knew it, though for some odd reason, didn’t leave the TV on which usually draws me out of bed like a groggy moth to a radioactive flame. He did make the coffee and for that I was grateful. I showered, shaved, got dressed, had cereal and a couple of cups of java. Then it was out into the tundra. I spent a few minutes picking up recyclables that were strewn about the sidewalk. I recognized my bottles of diet 7-Up and Bill’s bottles of orange essential vitamin water and couldn’t just leave them like that.

I walked up to Washington and 5th Street and waited a few minutes for the next 126 bus headed into the city. I took my usual seat in the back, next to the hub of the right rear tire. No one wants to sit on that so I sit next to it, offering whoever wants a seat, that spot if they don’t want to stand. Being 6’2”, I can’t sit there since my knees would be in my nostrils. It’s usually then I feel bad, or merely disdainful of those that live in uptown Hoboken since when they finally get on the bus they have to stand. There are some chivalrous men on the bus that occasionally give up their seat for a woman, but that’s not me.

I make sure I get a seat by going to an earlier stop that’s not as close as the one nearest my house, but it’s about a five minute walk in the opposite direction. I got off the bus and walked to the office. I was the second one in, Naomi was there. I took the time to tell her that working in such a nice environment had shown me how bad things were at McMann and Tate. She told me that it’s a nice office and everyone works really well with each other and that I was a welcome addition to the company.

That was certainly a nice way to start the day. Of course it didn’t last. Today, being payday was the main thing that had gotten me out of bed. I hadn’t gotten paid since December 15 and funds were perilously low. I sent an email to the bookkeeper asking her about the check and when she finally answered me hours later she told me that I wouldn’t be able to cash the check until tomorrow.

I think the look on my face showed how upset I was, yet I kept my cool. I explained that I needed to pay bills and I hadn’t gotten paid since last month. They got it together and I didn’t need to make a scene. That’s a change for the better, except that by waiting for the check to clear, I had to forego my usual salad for lunch and had two extremely crappy slices of greasy cheese and bread. All the good salads are gone by 3:00 in the afternoon, leaving nothing but wilted lettuce and oddly colored broccoli.

Bah!

The Wind Cries Mary

It’s Monday or actually Tuesday. I probably write that every day after a federal holiday. Go and check for yourself, can’t do it myself. It was an okay day. Nothing special. Got up, Bill’s back is out of whack so he stayed in bed. I stayed up until midnight so I have a nice restful sleep and even adjusted my alarm clock. That took some self reassurance when it went off, had to actually tell myself that time is not what it was. At least it wasn’t that way last week. Had a nice breakfast, coffee, cereal and I remembered to take my vitamins.

It was fairly cold as I headed out into the streets. Nobody at the bus stop since a bus had just pulled away. I sat in the back and read the New Yorker. Almost done with last weeks issue and I’m almost up to date. Should I re-subscribe when it runs out? It’s not cheap but it is informative and entertaining. I know I would miss it if I didn’t have it. I’m hoping for a special rate from Conde Nast. They’re always offering me GQ and Wired magazine and I even have a subscription to Men’s Vogue which sold me with George Clooney on the cover. He hasn’t been on the cover for a long time and I really don’t enjoy reading it. So that’s going, for sure.

There were a lot of people scheduled to be interviewed at work today and I had reminded myself to buy flowers for the desk on my way in, past the Conde Nast building, where the law firm that Bill works for shares the building space. It was crowded on the streets, the usual foreboding air of something about to happen in the back of my mind. Things are a little too quiet lately. Feels like something is going to happen. But as far as I know nothing happened. A bit of post 9/11 paranoia, and I didn’t even know what color the alert level is.

The day flew by though. I just imported resumes most of the day, taking care not to do too much, lest they just pile more on my desk. I did about 75 resumes though and they’re impressed with that. I didn’t mind the tedium though. There’s plenty more where that came from so I’m not going to be running out of things to do, that’s for sure. Bill stayed in contact with me via instant messaging. He was more uncomfortable than in pain. That was good. Even now he’s walking and talking as usual.

Juan’s coming over tonight and that’s cool since he’s always welcome here. Bill has taken to asking whether or not ‘our son’ is coming over. I insisted on being two dads, rather than me playing the mom. It’s really the only way this situation will actually work. The three of us watched the Golden Globes last night, many laughs amongst us. It was a nice way to end a three-day weekend.

Happy Birthday

It’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, or at least the federal government’s recognition of his birthday, and because the government is involved, it’s a holiday and I have off which is quite nice. I haven’t done much of anything at all today. It’s cheaper to stay in and just watch TV and the weather is so lousy, who wants to go out in that anyhow? I haven’t been a shut in all day though. I did go out a few times and ran some errands. In fact I have to go out again to get some 2% milk.

I brought the iPod and this is what I heard.

Rio Grande- Brian Wilson
From Brian’s first solo record from 1988. The slimmer, trimmer Brian yet so obviously damaged. Executive Produced by his therapist, Eugene Landy who on top of psychiatric fees got a nice percentage of sales from his ‘production’ work as well. All that ended thanks to Brian’s brother Carl. It’s the last song on a good but uneven album, that I think was eventually disowned by Brian and his camp. It’s really a great song though.

Def Con One- Pop Will Eat Itself
I first this song on the jukebox at McSwells. I remember Maurice Menares dancing in front of the jukebox. They were a garage band that fully embraced samplers and whatnot in the eighties. Lot’s of bits and pieces float around in the background underneath a funky bass and propulsive beat with Rod Serling to boot. I was supposed to DJ when they were scheduled to play but due to minor criminal offences on their records they were unable to enter the country. Too bad, it would’ve been a good match.

April Fools- Rufus Wainwright
It’s one of the two or three songs I really like on Rufus’ first album. I know some people prefer the first but I prefer most everything after. Call me crazy. He played McSwells promoting this record and I didn’t go since I didn’t know who he was and McSwells really wasn’t my ‘scene’ at that time. Nor is it now. The video is good. It featured Rufus (natch), his sister Martha and Jane Adams, a cool actress as well as a few drag queens. I’m sure you can find it somewhere if you so desire. Maybe youtube.com

It’s Been a Long Time- Rakim
Rakim is one of the best rappers ever. Eric B and Rakim were a great duo, Eric B was on the cuts and Rakim rocked the mike. No one can rhyme so potently as Rakim, still to this day. Rakim. At 40 years old he is definitely one of the oldest rappers out there. He’s edgy but not violent. In fact about the only harm he raps about is to other rappers and MC’s, so unless you’re one of those I think you’d be ok.

How Could I Let You Get Away- The Spinners
Greatly underrated Philly soul from the seventies but quite a good run of hit singles both Pop and R&B. I used to see them all the time on the Mike Douglas Show which was based in Philadelphia. The five Spinners would be doing dance steps and dressed all the same. Nice and personable and a bit corny yet I have their greatest hits on my iPod so that’s respect. Huh.

Country Feedback- REM
From the Out of Time record. Made REM super duper big. They were everywhere except on the road. Lot’s of TV shows, including Mike Stipe dressed in a suit made out of FedEx materials. Like everyone else I played it a lot, especially during the summer after my mother’s passing so it has a bittersweet taste of memory.

Quiet Slave to the Rhythm- Grace Jones
Ah, back to soul, funk or Grace Jones who doesn’t fit into any of those categories. This is probably her last good album, coming after playing with the Compass Point All Stars and winding up with the Art of Noise crew with Trevor Horn at the helm. It’s good, if not a bit clinical. No, actually it’s great. The Slave to the Rhythm record was basically eight versions of the same song intersped with interviews with Paul Morley and narration by Ian McShane, he of the greasy black hair and moustache from Deadwood. All the songs have basically the same lyrics, yet different backing. A disco version, a pop version, a hard dance version. It’s different and I don’t think anyone has done anything like it since so kudos to her.

Do It Properly

Let’s see. Friday night, I was hanging out, Bill rehearsing for a play, Juan out running around somewhere. The cellphone rings and its Pedro. I’ve been thinking about him, and hadn’t heard from him in weeks. Usually we talk on the phone at least once a week, but after leaving messages I hadn’t heard from him. I didn’t worry despite occasionally reading articles about life in and on Riker’s Island. It’s never any good news of course, but since his name never comes up in the papers I figured everything was all right. And it certainly was.

He proceeded to give me the low down about what he’s been up to in the jail, fighting crooks, with his fists. He’s got the fists for it I tell you. Some pretty gruesome details that I won’t repeat here, only to say when the going gets tough, that’s when the corrections officers call for him to set things straight. He loves it, always been a scrapper and with the law behind him he is almost untouchable. I’m sure it’s not easy working around people who would kill you given half the chance. His girlfriend Connie, is also a corrections office, though not in as violent a wing as Pedro’s.

Pedro asked what I was doing the next day, Saturday and I answered honestly. Nothing. Nothing at all, besides laundry that is. He suggested hopping on a train and heading up to Otisville NY. I said it sounded like a good time, and an hour later, his girlfriend, Connie told me what train to take. I told Bill what I was thinking of doing and it worked out perfectly. I could buy a ticket and hop on the train in Hoboken and be in Otisville in two hours. Easy peazy.

I did my chores and ran some errands and soon I was on the train, listening to the Smiths and reading about Manchester and Joy Division in the latest Mojo. Soon I was past Teterboro and Hackensack heading to new destinations, at least new to me. I got off the train, the next to last stop and stood around for about five minutes before Pedro showed up. I got in the car as we drove and I couldn’t believe how dark it was. Keene, NH was never as dark as this. Saw some deer across the street from Pedro and Connie’s new house.

Another old friend of Pedro’s and myself, Excer had driven up for the evening as well. I’ve known both Pedro and Excer for about 20 years, so it was a nice occasion. Excer is raising his kids on his own since he split from his wife and doing a really good job though the kids being kids resent him for it. But he perseveres nonetheless. We hung out and ate a nice turkey dinner that Pedro and Connie had cooked up for us. Lot’s of wine was consumed as well and before you know it I was nodding off at 12:30 while Pedro had put on ‘Tombstone’ with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

Woke up around 8:00AM and waited for Connie and Pedro to stir as Excer and I watched ‘200 Cigarettes’ on cable. Connie whipped up pancakes and scrambled eggs with lots of Spanish coffee, Bustelo. Then Pedro was off to work again and Excer and I following his lead out of Otisville, heading to the New York State Thruway. Back in Hoboken, foggy down here, foggier up in Otisville and probably foggy in Arcata CA too. Day off tomorrow courtesy of Martin Luther King. Three day weekend, four day work week. Nice indeed.

Rock-A-Boy-Blue

It’s finally Friday. It wasn’t such a bad week and I followed my sister’s instructions and I feel a whole lot better neck and back wise. Isn’t she great? Still the waking up earlier than I should is a drag. Hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock every ten minutes doesn’t really lend itself to a comfortable sleeping experience. Bill slept wrapped in my arms though. It was so cute to hear him purr. He was up and out before me and there was no drama involved. That was cool. He kissed me goodbye as I showered and soon enough I too was out the door.

The bus was crowded as usual. I finished last week’s New Yorker midway through the tunnel as I listened to Kraftwerk. I had to stop off and pick up flowers and a birthday balloon for Kathleen, a coworker. That was easy enough. Naomi wasn’t going to be in today. Wally came in late. Two things about Wally. He’s hard to figure him out, and I do think he’s a closet case. Carmen, another coworker says he’s funny but I haven’t seen it yet, meaning, he hasn’t made me laugh. In fact he makes me uncomfortable.

The other day when president Naomi was leaving early, I commented to her that, ‘it’s good to be queen.’ That got Wally’s attention and he shot a look over in my direction. The guy makes 300k a year which proves a lot of money doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re a dweeb. I have gone and tried to be personable to him by complimenting him on his ties. It seems to work somewhat. But he does lack in manners and etiquette.

It’s only been nine days so I’m not passing judgment. No sign of Felicia type behavior, and I went back to previous entries to make sure I wasn’t overlooking any signs of it. I think most of the coworkers are nice, it’s a smaller office, a family type atmosphere.

Juan pops up occasionally on AIM, usually after he wakes up around 2:00 in the afternoon. Nice life he has, doesn’t he? I would do the same thing, in fact I’m sure I’ve done the same thing. I certainly don’t begrudge him any of it. He’s a good guy, a real sweetheart. He didn’t come over last night and believe it or not I was worried about where he was, who he was with and what he was doing. I suppose it’s true. When he comes over Bill plays the role of ‘dad’, and that leaves me with the role of ‘mom’.

Julio and Stine have returned from Denmark earlier this week. I saw them briefly the other night. I stopped by after picking up some mail for them that had fallen to the floor and basically they were zombies from jet lag. There’s a tentative plan to hang out tomorrow night and hear of their tales of Copenhagen. It wasn’t all fun and games since Stine’s grandmother passed away when they were there. Hopefully we’ll have fun tomorrow night.

PS- go to Jockohomo-datapanic in the blogroll and read the piece about Banksy, a UK graffiti artist. I enjoyed it.

Cry Baby Cry

Thursday and quite cold. In the 20’s. Tomorrow back to the 50’s. Lady and Gentlemen, seriously, what the fuck is going on here. Juan came over last night and we hung out, Bill was at his folks. I couldn’t deal with Bush and his speech so we watched the Clash in ‘Westway to the World’. A documentary about the Clash up to the point where they kicked Mick Jones out which Paul Simenon and the late and sorely missed Joe Strummer regretted shortly thereafter. I think Juan liked it. He said he did after I asked him a few times during the documentary.

He left around 10:45 and still I didn’t fall asleep until 11:30, which gives me 7 hours of sleep but my body is used to 6 hours of sleep which makes me start to stir around 5:30. Not too cool. I guess the way around that is to go to sleep later, but I get so tired it’s hard to stay awake and focused. It’s really not much of a problem I know. Just a glitch in my wiring. I suppose I can look forward to good hearted suggestions from someone. Anyone. Anyone at all.

On the way to work this morning I had enough time to run into Smiler’s, a deli on Fifth Avenue that I used to frequent when I would walk to Wanker Banker. Tony, the West Indian cook was still there and he was as glad to see me as I was to see him. Of course he asked about Bill, wanting to know how his career is going. I filled him in with as much information that I knew of and soon was out the door with a bacon and egg sandwich.

Work was a bit stressed. I think I’m a fixture now, enough that everyone is starting to throw work my way now. I had to do some research about some employment search engines. That wasn’t so bad, but there was quite a bit of work that I did knock out but it was sort of like the myth of Sisyphus, pushing that rock to the top of the hill only for the rock to roll down again to be pushed up once more then down again. Endless. But literally the worst part of it is the chair I sit in.

It’s just that not good of a chair. By 4:00 in the afternoon my shoulders and neck are stiff. I know it has something to do with the placement of the computer keyboard but the chair just doesn’t reach high enough and there is a strain. With the stiff neck and featuring lower back on occasional twinge, and the never-ending workload I get stressed. It did garner some sympathy but I wasn’t looking for it. I was grateful nonetheless and was soon headed out the door, completely forgetting about the anti-war rally I was going to attend in Times Square, heading to the endless queue for the bus heading to Hoboken.
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Groove Is In The Heart

Wednesday is hump day. None of Bill playing games on his phone at 5:45AM, no not today. I still didn’t want to get out of bed. I never do. That is the problem with not being a morning person. You can lay and sleep all peaceful but when that peace has been revoked, well there is hell to pay. But there was no hell to pay. I got up, Bill was ambling for the door as I stepped into the shower. A minute or two later Bill was back, frantically looking for his wallet. He has a favorite bus driver and didn’t want to miss her driving maniacally into the city., but he did.

He found his wallet and stormed off. He definitely was not in a good mood. I hate it when he’s like this, but he’s not like this often so it’s easy to deal with when it happens. I dealt with it by staying in the shower until he left. I had my coffee, cereal and remembered to take my vitamins. I’m getting used to the commute, and I’m really digging the bus pass. It’s really the little things, especially when there is a hologram on it, that can make everything run smoothly.

Especially when one doesn’t have to scramble looking for exact change. I don’t recall the commute being so crowded when I was working at Wanker Banker but since back then I had the idea to get on the bus a stop earlier, I can sit comfortably and read the New Yorker. It’s definitely more comfortable than the Path train, especially when guaranteed a seat. I had to pick up flowers for the office so I walked around a bit trying to find the best flowers at a cheap price. That was easy since there’s a florist in the building next door from work.

Things were a bit hairy today in the office though. Last night I stayed a little later than usual to be trained on a new program involving data entry. Not a problem, I had a few files to import into the network. But the phones kept ringing, I had to vet some information about the town that President Naomi lives in, and there were people coming in to be interviewed. It felt like that I was working more than I did at McMann and Tate, but I wasn’t getting dirty or picking up after ingrates.

Then I had to put together a shelving unit for President Naomi. The woman who gave me that task was a Russian woman named Olga. Unfortunately she didn’t know if there was a screwdriver around which was basically the only hardware I needed. Eventually I found one, but I was stressed by the whole thing. Luckily Bill was on the other end of the phone when I went out for a smoke and chilled me out. It’s all part of playing the game. I’m sure once I get settled in I’ll be able to do all this multi-tasking really smoothly but that road isn’t paved yet. Still a bit gravelly.

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Burning With Optimism’s Flame

Tuesday. Bill was up before me, playing games on his cellphone which was distressing at 5:45AM. It sounded like waking up next to an arcade. Then it was the wrinkling of paper. Quite loud. Not being a morning person, I was about to start screaming since it was 45 minutes before I needed to get out of bed, but I held my tongue and tried to get as much sleep as I could get which wasn’t easy. Needless to say, I eventually got out of bed at 6:30 as Bill was walking out the door. I admit I kissed him, but it was a rather disgruntled kiss.

I got in the shower, did my thing, had some cereal, coffee, and checked email and soon I too was out the door, bus pass tucked into my iPod case. It was a lot colder this morning, about 35 degrees, which is half the temperature it was on Saturday. More people in wool this morning on Washington Street, than in shorts and flip-flops. I’m sure some runners would show up eventually, pushing high tech baby strollers as they run around the mile square city. It used to be that when couples had children they would leave Hoboken for the suburbs, but now they stay.

I got off the bus. The Port Authority bus terminal is a madhouse in the morning and I’m still getting used to it. People running this way and that way, trying to cross a river of people is like trying to avoid salmon during mating season. I got to the office in time though. 8:30 is when I start and at 8:31 I’m usually making coffee for everyone. It’s nice, people come in, walk by my desk and actually say hello. Such a little thing, but it makes a difference to me at least.

It was a busy day. I’m doing research for the president of the company. Naomi wants me to check a letter that she’s sending to the editor of a local paper that had denigrated Roseland, the town she lives in. I had to go to the Roseland town website and look up high school marching band rankings and cheerleading championships. That’s fine by me. Naomi’s lieutenant, Wally also had a project for me and told me he wanted to work with me on it at some point in the afternoon but he never got around to it. I didn’t mind since Wally is a bit of a closet queen.

Not that I mind closet queens, despite the fact that by being so closeted, it creates the appearance that something is wrong with being gay and there isn’t anything wrong with being gay. Silly Wally. Closets are for hangers, winners use the door. A tough lesbian came in late afternoon. It’s true, Ellen DeGeneres is the only lesbian with a sense of humor. Forget about Rosie O’Donnell. She hasn’t been funny in years.

This tough lesbian with almost as much, if not more, testosterone than me was just so bitter. I did catch her checking out one of the female counselors as she walked by. I saw just over the computer screen, she tried to be discreet but I caught her. She was finished with her interview soon enough and she did say good night so maybe her attitude was due to nerves.

I had an epiphany this afternoon. I came to the realization that all this drama that I put myself through in so unnecessary. It’s just a job after all. I’ve been told I’m doing a good job, getting positive feedback from Naomi, telling me about my phone manner and my interacting with clients and candidates. Not bad for day six, wouldn’t you say?

It Keeps You Running

Last night Juan, Bill and I watched ‘The Stand’ a made for television movie, written by Stephen King. I read the book in 1981 and saw the movie when it was originally broadcast in the nineties. Still pretty good for a TV movie, eventually both Bill and Juan were taken in by the movie. I didn’t notice it when I first saw it, but even Bill and Juan noticed a lot of homoerotic shots throughout the movie. Very interesting and I simply don’t know how I might have missed it before. Bill didn’t make it to the end, he went to bed before the final hour.

It was a wet night, a major storm passing overhead. That continued to the morning, which made it difficult to wake up. It was a real drag, pouring rain outside, total darkness at 6:30 in the morning. Bill wound up sleeping in, deciding to stay home. That was jarring to say the least. I get accustomed to Bill stirring before I even get out of bed, and on a morning like today’s, I surely could’ve used his wake up call. But I persevered, trying to find in the darkness a suit to wear. I didn’t want to turn the lights on and wake Bill up. I found a nice navy pinstriped suit, braces and a tab collared French cuff shirt. I wore one of Bill’s neckties for luck as it was my fifth day at work.

Bill bought me a monthly bus pass the other day since money is a bit tight for me these days. I think he was inspired by Turk getting a monthly bus pass for Carla on Scrubs. I got to use it which is nice and since Bill bought it I was riding the bus for free. The bus filled up quite fast and by the time it left Hoboken it was mad packed. It pulled into the bus terminal and I strolled out into the rain listening to Rufus Wainwright’s Want One.

I got to the office and said good morning to my new coworkers and bosses. The president said hello, her lieutenant grunted. She’s Naomi, he’s Wally. Eventually my other coworkers came in all in various degrees of blue Monday feelings. The rain out a damper on most everyone’s mood. I tried to be as chipper as possible, as my plan to fit in is to kill them with kindness. As far as I’m concerned, John Ozed doesn’t exist in that office, except for the brief checking of email.

There was a report of a gas leak throughout Manhattan and parts of Hudson County NJ. No one had any idea what the gas may have been, but the shut down the Path train for a few hours because of it. I mentioned to Bill later in the day that it sounded uncannily like the beginning to The Stand. We shall see how this mysterious gas turns out. For those in other parts of the world, go to http://nytimes.com . It’s all there, I’m not making it up.

I also decided on a last ditch attempt to get my bonus from the Wolffmen by sending a guilt loaded email to the president of McMann and Tate. And it goes a little something like this:

Hi Lamisil,
I regret not being able to talk to you about my leaving McMann and Tate. I did my best but after almost nine months I was burnt out and terribly depressed, which even my therapist couldn’t help. I really didn’t have anyone to talk to at McMann and Tate regarding that and my scheduled meeting with Table Lamp, scheduled in October never materialized, which could have made a difference in the way things had turned out. It would’ve been nice to talk to SOMEONE about what was going on.

The abuse I had suffered under Felicia was no help either, from my fifth day at McMann and Tate to being told in June by Felicia to consider looking for a different job, I never really knew where I stood or what kind of performance I was doing, and believe me I did my best. At least the clients noticed and appreciated it. Then in December, I found a memo on my computer from January about how two people should have been hired to work the front desk in two shifts because one person (namely me) would get burnt out. So it seems the front desk situation is known of, but not taken care of. Which in my case could’ve made a world of difference.

I tried not to leave McMann and Tate in the lurch and attempted to take care of supplies and whatnot to cover until someone else came in. I’m glad McMann and Tate had a good year and I had hoped to at least get some recognition bonus wise, but I did the right thing and gave notice, which is more that a few former employees did during my time of employment, and in doing the right thing I lost out on any chance for a financial recognition for whatever contribution my work had achieved for the good of the company and the clients. I told Rachel Floor Vacuum and Lydia Penguin that if there are any questions about things in the office to call me. Obviously I am still willing to help out for the good of McMann and Tate I’m glad I left on a relatively good note and I wish you and your wife, as well as the staff at McMann and Tate a happy and healthy New Year.
Regards,
John

Hey, it’s just an attempt. I’ve got nothing to lose. Just trying to guilt trip and rich hippie narcoleptic into giving me what should be mine.

Chinese Checkers

Sunday. Not as warm as yesterday but still warmer than it should be. 50 degrees or so. Last night Juan came over and he watched ‘Defending Your Life’ with Bill and I. I first saw that film a few weeks before my mother passed away and it gave me some sort of comfort when that awful Mother’s Day event happened. It’s still a really good movie, still gets quite a few laughs. It was also one of those situations when I watched it, I was seeing things I either had never seen before or forgot totally. A senior moment perhaps.

Bill went off to bed shortly thereafter and Juan and I watched a little bit of Saturday Night Live. It was a repeat with Alec Baldwin hosting, Christina Aguilera was the musical guest. Both were quite good, very funny. Juan was fading fast and left soon after the music, I headed to bed after that. I lay in bed wondering about the new job. I hate thinking about work on my weekends, but I suppose this would be exceptional since it is a new job. Soon enough I was wrapped in Bills arms headed to slumber land. It was still quite warm and we slept with the window open. In January.

According to Bill I was talking in my sleep and he found it cute, but couldn’t remember what it was that I was talking about. We both got up around 8:30 or so, he in the shower, me making coffee. Soon he was off to church and I went out to get bagels and the papers. Came home, had some eggs and watched some of the morning shows. I had rented from Netflix, ‘World Trade Center’ by Oliver Stone. I had it for a few weeks and kept putting it off to watch. Obviously it’s not a fun movie and whenever I suggested watching it to Juan, he quickly put the kibosh on it, which was quite understandable.

I put it in around 11:00 and was totally engrossed. My brother Frank recommended it a while ago and sure enough, he was right. There were moments where tears were streaming down my face. It’s well done, it has it flaws but they’re easily overlooked. Brought back some of the feelings from 5 years ago, which aren’t too far from the surface for me. I was going to save it so Bill could watch it, but I couldn’t go through watching it again.

I called up Frank afterwards and we talked about WTC, and talked about the Beatles in a totally unrelated conversation and I also told him about the situation with the new job. It was a good talk. Also spoke to Elaine who told me Corinne was in Hollywood, Florida, staying at a classmate’s grandmother’s house. Nice to get out of the area, kudos to her. Frank mentioned that the Annie Leibovitz documentary on PBS was really good and luckily it was on when I got off the phone with him.

I watched the last hour and was inspired enough to walk around Hoboken with my camera, smoking a Padron ala Weegee and taking pictures of anything that struck me as art. I’m going to try to post them in the pages listed on the right column so take a look tomorrow just in case there’s nothing there tonight.

Back to work tomorrow, so wish me luck. The dreaded day five. I just have to figure out my place in the office. At least there aren’t Felicia’s in the air.

I Was Made to Love Her

It’s Saturday and it’s 70 degrees. I just got back from walking around Hoboken and there were literally hundreds of people wandering around Washington Street, dozens of people in flip-flops and shorts. Crazy for January 6 don’t you think? Somethings not right I tell you.

Last night, after walking around the Village and midtown with Adam I came home awfully tired. Two glasses of wine and I was exhausted by 11:00. Bill came home a little before that and I could barely keep my eyes open so I shuffled off to bed and fell into quite a deep sleep. I woke up, feeling somewhat refreshed after what I thought was about six hours. When I opened my eyes it was only 11:30. I got out of bed and sat with Bill who was watching the late Bob Ross, painting on cable TV. That added a touch of surrealism as I took a Tylenol PM. A half hour later I was once again in bed, ensconced in Bill’s arms.

I haven’t had a jazz cigarette in days and that’s been leading to some very intense dreams. One dream I remember involved my adjusting my belt which had dozens of holes in it. Way too many. Another dream I had involved watching ‘Rent’ and sitting in the movie theater bawling my eyes out. That was intense enough to ask Bill when I woke up in the morning if I was crying in my sleep. I wasn’t.

Bill and I walked around Hoboken for a bit this morning before he went to his vocal class and rehearsal. Quite nice, many kisses in the sun at the bus stop. After that I got the papers and bagels and came home for breakfast. No good news except for the heroes in New York this week, the guy who leapt on the subway tracks to save a stranger, and the two guys who caught a child who fell off a fire escape three floors up. Nice. The subway hero got $10,000 for saving a student’s life.

That gave me an idea to save people should they fall onto the Path train tracks, or the subway and make some dosh. And of there’s no one to fall, well, who’s to notice a little push in the right direction? Kidding…that’s not my style at all. Need to find someone to do it for me. I do work at a staffing agency after all.

Bill was gone most of the day, Juan was not back from his party in New Brunswick and I did my laundry. I watched TV and strangely enough, ‘Rent’ was on TV which started to affect me so that is when I decided to go out and see what life was like on the street. That was alright, it was a beautiful and unnatural day. Now I’m home, Bill just walked in and purchased a monthly bus pass which was incredibly nice.

Annemarie called and suggested I try to play the bass line to ‘I Was Made to Love Her’ by Stevie Wonder, which is crazy complicated. James Jamerson was an amazing bass player, incomparable as Marvin Gaye called him. What was Annemarie thinking? I listened to Elton John’s ‘Hercules’ from Honky Chateau and I can’t even get close to Dee Murray’s bass lines on that one, much less Motown. But I’ll keep trying though, feeling my way up and down the neck. Who knows? Honor thy error as hidden intention.